Review: ForeScout CounterACT v7.1

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Review: ForeScout CounterACT v7.1

ForeScout CounterACT offers an enterprise-class NAC platform that assures network access based on real-time endpoint classification, configuration assessment, user and endpoint compliance policy and automated response.

The system provides a multifactored approach to identify and classify all devices, systems, applications and users, assess adherence to configuration and security policy, and determine if such access to network resources should be allowed, denied or limited. The integrated 802.1X and agentless approach delivers complete access and guest management, mobile security and endpoint compliance and remediation capabilities in a centrally managed, highly scalable, high performance physical or virtual appliance architecture. The platform interoperates with popular network, wireless, security, identity and mobile infrastructure, including five leading mobile device management (MDM) vendors. The hardware appliance includes everything (both software and hardware) in a pre-packaged product. An enterprise manager allows multiple physical and virtual appliances to be managed as one to provide for centralized, scalable implementation. This is a feature-rich solution that truly delivers.

In preparation for our installation, ForeScout provided a hardware appliance (the CT 100 model) and a large amount of easy-to-read documentation. From unpacking the appliance to getting the system up and operational, it took under 30 minutes to start tracking data. The virtual appliance form factor has various system requirements, depending on the number of network devices that need to be supported (for a complete list of system requirements, see the company's website). ForeScout CounterACT is typically installed via a SPAN port to a core switch having domain access to endpoints via directory services. The system interfaces with firewalls, VPN concentrators, AAA, switches, routers, wireless access points, domain controllers, host-based security systems and other network, security and identity infrastructure. The system can support both centralized and distributed deployment with the means to identify and assess devices, apply policy, enforce compliance and remediate systems - including remote sites via a DHCP (dynamic host configuration protocol) plug-in. The system interacts with common endpoints, printers and other network devices, including network-attached smartphones and tablets. 

The company offers two paid support options. The customer support offering (ActiveCare) costs 18 percent of the product. Assistance includes 24/7 online and telephone support, a user forum and a portal, and includes maintenance for updates and upgrades. Advanced support is available on a 24/7/365 basis. Aid includes web/email, online portal, all updates and upgrades, 24/7/365 telephone assistance, response within three hours and three business day advance hardware replacement. The fee varies depending on the number and type of ForeScout CounterACT appliances the customer owns. For our version that supports 1,000 network devices, the price is $1,723 per year for nine-hours-a-day/five-days-a-week support or $2,201 per year for 24/7 support. 

Overall, this is a good value for the money.

This was a pleasing experience from beginning to end. Best Buy.

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